Background: The steroid hormone 1α,25(OH)2-vitamin D3 (1,25-D3) induced some biological responses through activation of MAPK cascades in various cell types. It seems that 1,25-D3 plays different roles at different stages of proliferating, differentiating, and differentiated C2C12 cells. We wanted to detect the effect of 1,25-D3 on myogenic differentiation and the role of ERK1/2 in differentiating stage induced by 2% horse serum with 1,25-D3.
Methods: In this study, cells were induced to differentiate with 2% horse serum until the 7th day (with addition of 1,25-D3 every two days). The protein level of MHC (myosin heavy chain) and phosphorylation level of Src and ERK1/2 were determined with western blot. U0126 (MEK inhibitor) and PP2 (Src specific inhibitor) were used to confirm the relationship between 1,25-D3, MHC, Src, and ERK1/2.
Results: 1,25-D3 inhibited differentiation of C2C12 cells and fusion of myotubes by phosphorylating and activating Src and ERK1/2. Phosphorylation of ERK1/2 was inhibited, not only by U0126 but also by PP2 (a Src specific inhibitor) which led to the promotion of differentiation of C2C12 cells; however, U0126 did not inhibit Src phosphorylation.
Conclusions: These results suggested that 1,25-D3 possibly inhibited C2C12 differentiation through Src and ERK1/2, and Src played an upstream role in this signaling pathway.